Eugene Stanley “Gene” Summ, age 84, departed this earth to his heavenly Father on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
Gene was planning on writing his own obituary, but time ran out. As his wife of 62 years, I will attempt this monumental task. He was larger than our words can say. Gene was born on June 13, 1937 to Carl and Meta Summ in a farmhouse near Polar, WI. He was the second youngest of 13 children. He graduated from Antigo High School, Class of ’55, affectionately known as “Smiley”. Gene was 20 years old, and I was 17 when we first met, and we were inseparable for the next 65 years. On each anniversary Gene would give me a red rose for each year we were married (my maiden name was Rose).
Gene was especially proud of his military service, serving in the WI Army National Guard for 9 years, 1-1/2 of those years on active duty, with the 32nd Division. Part of those duties included being a drill sergeant and a tank commander. He attended the Army’s Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Fort Carson, CO.
He was employed in banking and finance for 45 years, 34 of those with the First National Bank of Monroe. In 1990 he opened their first branch in Madison and their second a few years later, where he worked until retirement in 2002. Gene was involved in more than a dozen community organizations during his time in Monroe. These included being elected to the Monroe School Board, many years in the Jaycee’s (he won the State Speak-up competition in 1970) and being a founding member and long-time treasurer for the Green County EMS. He was a man of steadfast faith and was very active with Grace Lutheran Church in Monroe, serving the church in many capacities. While in Madison he was a member of Bethel Lutheran. For all that he gave of himself to others he always felt he could do more and lived his life by the Golden Rule.
Gene loved to build and repair things and always enjoyed a challenge. There was almost nothing he couldn’t fix, and he would focus on a project until he succeeded. This also partly explains his success in business as well as being the best husband and father anyone could hope for. He never gave up trying.
Gene is survived by his wife Barbara, son Bryan (Kris) and daughter Lori (Steve) Weiler, both of Madison, grandchildren Matthew Summ (Shane) of San Jose, CA, Lindsay (Jason) Zenz of Oregon, WI, and four great-grandsons (Mason, Ayden, Landyn and Harrison Zenz). He is also survived by two sisters, Devota “Dede” Cromer of Antigo, WI, and Grace Swanson of Phoenix, AZ. Preceding him in death were four brothers (Reinhold, Ervin, Clarence and Norbert) and six sisters (Margaret, Leona, Ruth, Addie, Maxine and Dana).
His earthly life has ended, but his heavenly home is everlasting. No amount of words will do him justice or convey the endless love we had for him. Life is but a fleeting moment in time. Love one another and hold tight to those you love – our time with them is never assured. When God calls, we go.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at the CRESS CENTER, 6021 University Ave., Madison. Family will greet friends from 11 a.m. until the time of service. A reception will follow the service.
To honor Gene’s spirit of giving more to those who have less, in lieu of flowers, please give a memorial contribution to the food pantry of your choice.
6021 University Ave. Madison
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